Doing a Doctoral-Level Practicum at the DDDC
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey is among the places you should consider if you want to develop a sophisticated grasp of the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) teaching methods for people with autism spectrum disorders. The Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center is an on-campus facility that serves children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders. We use a broad range of ABA technology to serve those learners and their families. Along with other ABA faculty and staff throughout Rutgers University, the DDDC’s clinical faculty members and doctoral-level behavior analysts teach a 7-course Certificate Program in ABA that meets the academic requirements for sitting for the national certification board’s exam. The practicum also provides the opportunity to accrue the hands-on experience requirements for ABA certification.
The training model for PsyD students who work at the DDDC involves primarily hands-on clinical work for two years. Doctoral students work directly with children, adolescents and adults, and classroom consultation to teachers about challenges in skill acquisition and the reduction of behavior problems. The role is very structured with ample supervision by clinical faculty members Dr. Robert LaRue and Dr. Kate Fiske, both of whom are Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). Additionally, doctoral students are supervised by the capable behavior analysts who oversee the DDDC classrooms. Practicum hours with them would count toward the required hours to become board certified.
Many PsyD students also do their dissertation research at the Center. In recent years they have addressed questions such as developing a parent training program to improve the home-school collaboration, providing services for adults with autism, teaching language to children with autism, evaluating sibling relationships, the use of video modeling to address problem behaviors, and adapting functional assessments to a classroom setting.
We accept two new PsyD students for support at the DDDC every year. If you want a career that focuses on the treatment of people with autism spectrum disorders and their families you should certainly consider us. Take a look at the GSAPP website for a detailed picture of the clinical PsyD program. Potential and current GSAPP students who are interested in a practicum placement at the DDDC should contact Kate Fiske, PhD or Robert LaRue, PhD for information on how to apply.